BI2BR4-Function of the Bacterial Cell

Module Provider: School of Biological Sciences
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Level:5
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites: BI1BD1 Introductory Microbiology or BI1P11 Introductory Microbiology or BI1S1 Introductory Microbiology or BI1P3 Introductory Microbiology (Pharmacy students only)
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2014/5

Module Convenor: Prof Simon Andrews

Email: s.c.andrews@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

Aims:
The purpose of this module is to provide students with an understanding of fundamental aspects of bacterial, metabolism, physiology and genetics. By the end of the course students should understand how bacteria manage to utilise a wide variety of nutrients through the diversity of their metabolic capabilities and how these processes are regulated. Students will also learn about the mechanisms of important bacterial processes, such as genetic exchange, membrane assembly, solute transport, cell growth, motility and taxis, and stress (e.g. osmotic and pH) resistance. At the practical level students will learn to perform membrane preparations, transposon mutagenesis, and biofilm and evolution experiments.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:
• describe and explain key aspects of bacterial biochemistry, metabolism, physiology and genetics
• carry out membrane preparations, biofilm/evolution experiments and transposon mutagenesis.

Additional outcomes:
Students will improve their data handling skills.

Outline content:
The course will provide a general knowledge of many key aspects of the biochemistry, metabolism and physiology of bacteria. Several topics will be covered: plasmids, transposition, conjugation, transduction, motility and taxis, transport, membrane assembly, cell growth and division, and osmotic and pH regulation, respiration, evolution, fermentation and respiration. Much of the information content of the module will be in the form of lectures, but practicals will also be used to reinforce the lectures and to introduce new laboratory skills. Use of the data-handling will provide opportunities to widen the experience beyond that of laboratory bench work.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
There will be sixteen 50-minute lectures, approx 16 hours of practicals, and an end-of-course assessment and discussion (~2 hours). Students will be expected to hand in practical write-ups for assessment and there will be an end-of-course test (MCQ).

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 5
Practicals classes and workshops 18
Guided independent study 57
       
Total hours by term 100.00
       
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 70
Written assignment including essay 22.5
Class test administered by School 7.5

Other information on summative assessment:
Practical write-ups (3 x 7.5%) and end-of-course test (7.5%).

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    A one-and-a-half hour examination requiring answers to two questions out of four.

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination in August/September only

    Last updated: 8 October 2014

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